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  • Archive for July 25th, 2013

    Jul 25

    PREPARED FOR CALGREEN UPDATES?

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The newest updates to the state Green Building Code, better known as “CALGreen,”  will be effective on January 1, 2014.  Are you prepared?  Even if you are, here is a very informative article to remind you of the many rapid change in the California Codes from our friends at GlobeSt.com

    Jul 25

    ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM FOR EXISTING BUILDINGS ACTION PLAN

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The next major step in the AB 758 Regulatory Process is underway and you have an opportunity to provide input and guide California policy that will have an impact on your business.  This is an issue our industry has been working on for several years now, in collaboration with the Energy Commission, green energy groups, and other stakeholders – it’s a regulatory plan that is being written to tackle energy efficiency in existing commercial buildings.

    Once the “draft action plan” is finalized, the strategies – both voluntary and mandatory – will be translated into regulatory language and moved forward for adoption.  It is very important to assure that what is contained in the final document make sense from both a technological and economic standpoint.  We also want to make sure that “red-tape” is kept to a minimum so unnecessary paperwork is not required.

    Here is the plan:  Draft Action Plan for the Comprehensive Energy Efficiency Program for Existing Buildings

    Again, we hope that this can be reviewed by some of your energy experts.  However, we really need this to also be reviewed by people involved in leasing and real estate transactional issues.  Energy efficiency strategies are important, but so are the “triggers” used by the state to enforce any mandates.  Provide any feedback you may have by replying to this email or talking with your local association leadership.  Here is the document.

    Jul 25

    REVITALIZATION MEASURE RESTORING NARROW RDA AUTHORITY PASSES

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Next week the Senate Transportation and Housing Committee will hear AB 1080 (Alejo; D-Salinas), which will restore some Redevelopment authority to local governments.  The measure allows local governments to establish individual Community Revitalization and Investment Authorities (CRIA) for the purpose of improving low-income and disadvantaged communities. Upon establishing CRIAs and identifying revitalization investment areas, local governments can use property tax increment revenues to fund community development plans.

    We strongly support this important economic development measure.

    Jul 25

    EV CHARGING STATION BILL MOVES FORWARD

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    With support from both the commercial and residential real estate sectors, AB 1092 (Levine; D-San Rafael) passed the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality.  Currently, there are no statewide building standards for electric vehicle charging infrastructure – however many local jurisdictions have either adopted mandates, or are moving in that direction, to require parking lots provide access to EV charging stations.  In order to avoid a patchwork of requirements throughout the state, this bill directs the Building Standards Commission to provide standards in order to plan for EV infrastructure.  With apologies, last week we typo’d the bill number.  AB 1092 is the correct bill.

    Jul 25

    REGULATORY REFORM BILL MOVES FORWARD

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    We are pleased to report that Senator Ben Hueso’s (D-San Diego) SB 401, which will assist in presenting a clear understanding of economic impacts from regulations to commercial construction by providing cost reporting requirements for new building standards, continues to move along with little opposition.  This bill builds upon current law which provides this information for residential building standards.

    Since 1982 state agencies have been required to prepare an economic impact analysis that clearly identifies any adverse economic impacts on business, small business and housing. However, the economic impact analysis has most often been accompanied by boilerplate language that states:

    “The agency has determined that there will be no significant economic impact on business/housing.”

    As is widely recognized, such regulations more often than not have a cost impact, and this generic sentence gives no real indication to the public as to what the estimated cost (in dollars) and benefits are with the proposed building standard.

    SB 401 requires a state agency proposing a building standard to cite the estimated cost and benefits of compliance; for decades state agencies have been developing this information to support a determination of economic impact.

    Thanks to Senator Hueso for carrying such a “make-sense” bill!

    Jul 25

    COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE OUTLOOK LOOKING UP

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The current Allen Matkins/UCLA Anderson California Commercial Real Estate survey, taken in May 2013, signifies a continued recovery of the real estate market in California with an acceleration of growth in non-residential building until 2016 or 2017.  Key findings from the report:

    OFFICE: Optimism in the office segment remains strongest in the Bay Area, with surveyed real estate developers viewing 2016 as a year in which rental rates are expected to be superior to 2013. The survey indicates that growth in office space construction will continue at the same or higher rates as today over the next three years.

    MULTIFAMILY: Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley survey participants continue to be confident about the outlook for multifamily housing between now and 2016. More than half of the developers surveyed expect to begin new multifamily projects in the coming 12 months.

    INDUSTRIAL: Survey results show that the pace of new additions for industrial space has moderated over the past six months. Only one-third of those surveyed in Southern California and two-thirds from the Bay Area expect to be engaged in developing projects during the next year, with planned additions expecting to meet demand by 2016.

    Click here for more good news!

    Jul 25

    NEW ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INCENTIVES

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) director Kish Rajan has issued a detailed briefing outlining the new incentives included in the Governor’s Economic Development Initiative, mentioned above. Click here to read the full report entitled “New Tools for a New Economy.”

    For some political analysis of what has transpired, click here for an interesting and informative piece by Loren Kaye, President of the California Foundation for Commerce and Education, entitled “New Day for Economic Development in California.”

    Jul 25

    NEW ERA FOR ENTERPRISE ZONES

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    Yesterday in San Diego Governor Jerry Brown signed two bills which effectively end the state’s long-running Enterprise Zone program and establish the Governor’s Economic Development Initiative. The bipartisan legislation is intended to help bolster California’s business climate and put Californians to work through the following measures:

    •  Sales Tax Exemption: A statewide sales tax exemption on all manufacturing equipment and research and development equipment purchases for biotech and manufacturing companies;
    • Hiring Credits: Hiring credits for businesses in areas with the highest unemployment rate and poverty; and
    • California Competes Investment Incentives: The opportunity for California businesses to compete for available tax credits based on the number of jobs to be created and retained, wages paid in those jobs, and other factors.

    At the signing ceremony, the Governor stated, “This legislation will help grow our economy and create good manufacturing jobs.” … “Through our great university system and through the companies we have, California can build on the strength of intellectual capacity. Let’s get to work!”

    More from the press release: “The Governor’s Economic Development Initiative follows a strong record of pursuing regulatory changes and legislation to improve the state’s business climate. Since taking office in 2011, the Governor has approved legislation to modernize the workers’ compensation system, the regulatory and fee structure for the timber industry, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance requirements and the facility inspection process for the life sciences industry. In addition to these legislative actions, Brown has established the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) as the state’s lead economic development office to advance business opportunity in California and enacted administrative changes to streamline the oil and gas drilling permitting process.”  Click here for more detail.

    Jul 25

    AB 1103 MANDATORY BENCHMARKING STARTS SEPT 1

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program (AB 1103) will officially start on September 1, 2013, for buildings of 50,000 s.f. or more.  Click here to see the announcement.

    The Energy Commission has released an FAQ to help with some basic questions regarding how to comply with the law.  Click here to see the AB 1103 FAQ.

    The law requires that anytime you finance, sell, or lease a whole building, you are required to run the ENERGY STAR numbers and provide that information to the other party in the transaction as well as to the Energy Commission.

    The effective date of the regulations is now September 1, 2013 for large buildings (more than 50,000 square feet); January 1, 2014 for medium buildings (more than 10,000, and up to 50,000 square feet); and July 1, 2014 for small buildings (5,000 up to 10,000 square feet).

    In addition to providing information to the counterparties of the transaction, there are also reporting requirements you must follow to provide information to the Energy Commission. The required documentation and reports should be printed from each building’s ENERGY STAR account and submitted to authorized counterparties of the transaction.

    Look for an informational webinar on AB 1103 with industry leaders and Energy Commission staff sometime in August.

    We want to thank staff at the Energy Commission for working with our industry to address issues and resolve concerns throughout this process.  We will continue to work with them as they move forward and the regulations are implemented.

    Jul 25

    LEARN HOW TO USE ENERGY STAR

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    As of September 1, 2013, California’s mandatory benchmarking law will require that you use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to benchmark your building and disclose that information during certain transactions (see story below for more details).  If you have not already done so, now is the time for someone from your company to learn how to use this important tool.  Here are details from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on the newly upgraded tool and seminars on how to use it:

    “On July 17, EPA will release the upgraded Portfolio Manager tool, providing users with a new interface, streamlined functionality, and improved usability.  To get you up to speed on the new tool, they are offering a number of trainings, as well as ‘office hours,’ during the month of July.”

    For more detail and links to register and for the latest print training resources to get you prepared for the launch, click here; and click here to register for an online training session.

    Jul 25

    SUMMER RECESS/WEEKLY HIATUS

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The California State Legislature is currently in Summer Recess so now is a good time to review the first half of the first half of the 2013-2014 Legislative Session. Representing the largest coalition of commercial real estate industry professional groups and individual companies, we are tracking over 400 pieces of legislation. We have taken positions on 103 bills.  Of the 68 bills deemed “High Priority,” we oppose or are working to fix 56.  Only one bill we oppose has made it to the Governor while 31 have been defeated or amended in a way to remove our industry’s opposition.  We have sponsored two bills and both continue to move through the Legislature.

    So far, it has been a very good year!

    Due to the Summer Recess, this Weekly eNewsletter will be on hiatus, returning on Friday, August 16.  But don’t worry; your Sacramento staff will be here keeping an eye on the Capitol and if anything exciting happens we will make sure you know about it.

    Jul 25

    MANDATORY BENCHMARKING REGS POSTPONED

    Posted by Crystal Whitfield | No Comments

    The Nonresidential Building Energy Use Disclosure Program (AB 1103) was supposed to kick-in next month, but because ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager is down, enforcement is being delayed until September 1, 2013.  Click here to see the announcement.

    Additionally, the Energy Commission has released a FAQ to help with some basic questions regarding how to comply with the law.  Click here to see the AB 1103 FAQ.

    The law requires that anytime you finance, sell, or lease a whole building, you are required to run the Energy Star numbers and provide that information to the other party in the transaction as well as the Energy Commission.

    The effective date of the regulations is now September 1, 2013 for large buildings (more than 50,000 square feet); January 1, 2014 for medium buildings (more than 10,000, and up to 50,000 square feet); and July 1, 2014 for small buildings (5,000 up to 10,000 square feet).

    In addition to providing information to the counterparties of the transaction there are also reporting requirements you must follow to provide information to the Energy Commission. The required documentation and reports should be printed from each building’s ENERGY STAR account and submitted to authorized counterparties of the transaction

    We want to thank staff at the Energy Commission for working with our industry to address issues and resolve concerns throughout this process.  We will continue to work with them as they move forward and are implemented.